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Released September 16, 2016. Model 1660, 1778 Available as GSM or CDMA / 32, 128 or 256 GB / Rose gold, gold, silver, black, and jet black.

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Touch ID and home button not working after just restarting the phone?

So in my shop we have been fixing iPhone 7’s since they came out. We have only had a couple issues with screens not working properly and in one instance a damaged home button. This particular case has left me dumb founded.

So the other day a customer comes in with an iPhone 7 in good shape. No cracks, no obvious damage, however, the audio out was not working through the lightning cable and could not be used to play music through external speakers. At first I figured she was using an aftermarket dongle so I tested it with my original Apple adapter. Still nothing. Then took an new original dongle out of the box and tried it. Nothing. The charging port appeared to be clean and I even tried cleaning it lightly but there was nothing it was like brand new.

At this point I figured why not try to restart(lock and volume down for a few seconds) it real quick before I have to open it up and just try to rule some basics out. Well after that it was in a boot loop for a few minutes and when it turned back on it read “unable to activate Touch ID” and the home button did not work at all either. So I tried restarting it again and it boot looped until it went black. Opened the phone up and plugged a new battery in and it did not appear to boot loop as far as the screen turning on and off but the Apple logo just stayed on for approximately 2 minutes then turned on and still no Touch ID or home button functionality.

Then I tried taking And disconnecting the home button and plugging it back and putting the original battery back in and closing it up and trying one last time. Still nothing.

At this point I am lost. I have never come across anything like this and can not even imagine what is wrong with this phone. If anyone has ever had this happen or could think of a possible cause I would greatly appreciate any response.

Let me mention also this was never cracked so the phone had the original screen, original everything, never water damaged and this problem occurred before I even opened the phone. Not the best day:(

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1 Answer

Chosen Solution

Most of the symptoms you see are probably related to a failed Audio IC. The iPhone 7 series suffer from flex-based issues similar to the iPhone 6 Plus (Touch Disease). On the iPhone 7, the fault line runs along the top of the SIM card reader and affects the Baseband CPU and Audio IC. Any short copper traces running perpendicular to the fault line while connecting to micro-BGA pads, is subject to failing.

On the Audio IC, this particularly affects the C12 pad/trace although there are 4 pads/traces along the fault line. Of those four, the C12 pad (I2S_AP_TO_CODEC_MCLK) is the most critical as it is a communication protocol line between the CPU and the Audio IC. ''''

Here are the typical symptoms, as collated by the repair community:

  1. Voice Memos app / Loudspeaker on call - greyed out
  2. Siri doesn’t hear you / Caller can’t hear you
  3. Most other Audio related issues that aren’t solved by modular replacements
  4. Long boot times (3-5 minutes)
  5. iTunes detects the phone but stuck on the Apple Logo

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Comments:

Thank you very much for your reply. I figured it was board level at this point and also know audio ic has been a huge problem with the 7 series, however, do you think replacing the audio ic would solve the Touch ID issue as well?

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The touch ID issue, I'm baffled. Only thing I can think of is restoring the phone to get it working.

Phone will need to be backed up beforehand as restore wipes all data on the phone.

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Will do, this is one of the most temperamental iPhone 7’s I have ever had

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The Audio Ic is known to cause laggy touch and sometimes continuous haptic feedback so who knows...I would start with the Audio IC first and see how many symptoms it clears.

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